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Novation Remote Zero SL

Novation Remote Zero SL

4.5 4.5 out of 5, based on 2 Reviews

MIDI Controller for DAW's

1st February 2012

Novation Remote Zero SL by taturana

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.25
Novation Remote Zero SL

Really nice MIDI controller for the price, frees the hand from the mouse when i am working too much.
16 knobs/8 faders 4xrows of 8 buttons, transport buttons including loop tempo, tap tempo and a tempo knob. , 2 blue lighted led displays. functionality dependant on daw and the Novation Automap software.

Of course it could have more features, and moving faders, but that would cost more... for a bit more you can find the MKII model (which also does not have moving faders but lighted rotary touch sensitive switches and faders )

The Automap software, which is always updated, works very well with all the daws i've tested it with,for example, the integration with Propellerhead Reason is awesome and complete . In Sonar, for example it only works with the main faders, not the buses, and the Remote SL cannot change the tempo of the DAW. in Reason the tempo function works fine... including the tap tempo button. The Automap plugins work fine, but i tend not to use them much..

For the price those can be found they are very useful and double as a midi/usb interface.... the drum pads work on some software templates but are hard to configure.. even with the software.

as a random note ,somebody in Bjork's band is using the drumpads to trigger a pipe organ... so i guess they are useful...

I work with it for the past few years and it really has helped my work flow and tendinitis after hours of mixing, it's also really cool to have a record/rewind/ff with the knobs and faders and the communication back from the daw works great. etc.. i recommend it if you are on a budget and need a simple but useful controller...

edited august 9th 2012..

had to add kudos for the customer service at novation/focusrite... found a bug in their software related to the sonar implementation.... contacted them, they were very helpful and willing to make it work... in a couple of weeks they have rewrtten the o/s and templates for my old (almost obsolete) remote SL and fixed the bug... great to see a company and people that really want to help you work, even though i don't have the latest model...

19th March 2012

Novation Remote Zero SL by danielbailey

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.75
Novation Remote Zero SL

This review is for the new Novation Zero MK2. I own 2 Zero MK2’s, a SL 25 MK2 for travel, an SL 49 MK2 and an SL61 MK2 for performance and in my studio respectively. The nice thing about the Automap software is that each keyboard or Zero can be setup to control a particular software or hardware synthesizer independent of the other units.

I think the Novation MK2 models offer a whole lot more than the original MK1 models I used to own a Novation SL 37 MK1, and it just never really worked well for me. The physical changes in the layout of the keys on the MK2 vs the MK1 is much improved. On my SL 37 MK1, I never could get the transport controls to work reliably, but on the MK2 gear, you just press the TRANSPORT button, and that row controls PLAY, STOP, REWIND, FAST FORWARD, REC etc. perfectly. Pressing the MIXER button, lets it control the mixer in youer DAW software. It’s definitely a lot easier than before. Pressing the INST tells Automap to load up the layout for whatever softsynth you have running – and it knows what you’re running so it doesn’t try to load a layout for Kontakt when you’re running Absynth.

For the money, the Zero MK 2 is an incredible piece of gear - no, it doesn't have motorized faders, but that just adds another layer of expense and complexity that is just not necessary.

I really like the layout of the controls of the Zero MK2 compared to the SL MK2 keyboard, in that they grouped the row of knobs together and put the buttons below them. On the SL MK2, one row buttons is between two rows of knobs and it's kind of hard to get your fingers in there easily. Also the lights on the endless rotary controls are a really nice touch and look really cool. The faders are longer than the faders on the keyboard versions. Only thing I don’t like is that they deleted the touch pad, but the touch pad is one part of the Novation gear that could be improved.

One softsynth that works especially well with the Novation gear is Camel Audio’s Alchemy. I set up a very intuitive Automap layout with a total of 15 pages, but 2 basic pages that give me incredible control over the Alchemy and the ability to morph sounds with either the faders on the Zero and the touchpad on my Novation SL Mk2 keyboards.. It works really well and it’s just a lot of fun to use.

IF you take the time to create your own Automap layouts, the Zero MK2 really adds a layer of control to software (and hardware) synths that I just haven't found in other controllers.

Buy it, Buy 2 or one of each model like I did :-)

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